Designing Senior Living Communities for COVID-19

Recently I had the privilege of participating in a design charrette for a new IL/AL/MC facility.  Obviously the current pandemic is on everyone’s mind.  No one knows when it will end, if the virus will morph and/or come back, or if we will someday need to deal with another similar crisis.  So the decision was made by the client that the facility needed to be designed not only to protect the residents and staff but also in such a progressive manner that the operator could use this as a strategic advantage in the marketplace.  Their concept is that they want to be known as a place safer than home-where professionals know how to keep you safe. In my experience, these discussions are just starting, so there is much to learn and will continue to be, but some of the ideas that came out were as follows:

  • Electrostatic sanitation systems.
  • Safe visitation areas.
  • A system in the entryway that remotely takes peoples’ temperatures as they enter the building.
  • HVAC with infrared systems to sanitize.
  • Dining rooms designed for safety.

Some of this relies on technology that we all need to learn more about.  As leaders in the senior living construction market, it is incumbent on us to be at the forefront of this to help our clients succeed in this new reality.  I welcome everyone’s thoughts on this as we work to learn more.

Pete Douglas, President

The Douglas Company

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